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Eric Freeman

Stephen Jackson controls his technicals, gets ejected

Eric Freeman
Ball Don't Lie

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Monday night, Stephen Jackson(notes) was ejected from the Bobcats' game against the Celtics for arguing a foul call late in the second quarter. After earning one technical, Jackson didn't stop yapping, which brought on the second and the automatic ejection that comes with it. This was classic Captain Jack, the kind of thing he's done throughout his entire career.

Except this ejection was a little different, because only one day earlier Jackson said he is in total control of his technical foul total. From the Associated Press:

"No, I get techs because I want to. I don't care," Jackson said Sunday. "I'm not getting techs for no reason. It happens."

When the NBA announced it was cracking down on player behavior this season, Jackson appeared to be one of the targets. Jackson played a starring role in a video distributed to teams showing demonstrative actions that would result in technical fouls. [...]

"My reputation is the main reason why a lot of things don't go my way on the court," Jackson said. "I can't really pout about it and complain about it. I know I put myself in those situations. I went in the stands. I had those incidents off the court and I've got to be responsible for them. I just have to be professional and try to get through it."

So I guess this means that Jackson wanted to get kicked out of Monday night's game because he thought it gave his team the best chance to win. Lo and behold, he was right -- the Bobcats beat the far superior Celtics 94-89 in Charlotte. That's veteran leadership, my friends.

This is very obviously pretty stupid of Jackson, because he said he's in control of his technical fouls and then got ejected. Plus, while he's right that his reputation earns him a lot of technicals, it goes well beyond the fact that he had a major part in the Malice in the Palace. Jackson's a complainer, like Rasheed Wallace(notes) before him, and complainers usually get called for lots of technical fouls.

But Jackson's reputation is also established fact -- it's not as if the Bobcats just learned this season that he sometimes gets ejected. It's the reality of his career -- the man helps you win games but also does stupid things that sometimes makes it seem as if he's not worth the risk. But the good usually outweighs the bad, even if he's not always dependable. Not all NBA players are consistent sources of leadership, but that doesn't mean they're not useful anyway.

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